Four innovative and community-centered blue carbon projects selected for second round of Readiness initiative
The Blue Carbon Accelerator Fund (BCAF), with funding from the Government of Australia and in its continued mission to support blue carbon restoration and conservation in developing countries, is excited to announce the selection of recipients for the second Readiness Support Call for Proposals. This call was especially focused on the dynamic and biodiverse regions of South-East Asia and the Pacific, reflecting the BCAF commitment to addressing the unique environmental challenges and opportunities these areas present.
We are delighted to announce that up to $680,000 AUD will be awarded to four projects selected for this round. The chosen projects, implemented in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, stood out for their innovative approaches to coastal ecosystem restoration and conservation, including mangroves, and seagrass.
The winning projects are deeply rooted in community-led efforts, a cornerstone of the BCAF philosophy. Each project is tailored to the specific environmental and socio-economic contexts of their respective countries, ensuring local relevance and long-term sustainability.
Our Readiness Support is a vital early-stage enabler, providing the necessary groundwork for these projects to evolve into mature, investment-ready initiatives. By assisting with feasibility assessments, stakeholder engagement, and technical planning, we’re setting these projects on a path to success and scalability, aligned with our broader goals of fostering a global portfolio of credible blue carbon projects.
We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the winners of this round and express our gratitude to all applicants for their inspiring contributions. The BCAF remains dedicated to its mission of supporting blue carbon restoration and conservation, and we look forward to the continued growth and impact of these projects in their journey towards environmental excellence and community benefit.
How BCAF will help
The long-term goal of the project is to leverage markets (carbon or other payment for ecosystem services) to fund a large-scale restoration and conservation project across the wider land and seascape around Misool island in Indonesia for a period of 30 years or more. This funding will preserve endangered and threatened species, restore degraded coral reefs, sequester carbon through mangrove and seagrass restoration and enhance management of a 42,000 hectare Marine Protected Area through a replicable model that engages communities in the protection of their own marine and coastal assets.
BCAF will fund two critical project milestones focused on finalizing data collection. Funding will support a comprehensive biodiversity assessment and development of a world class biodiversity monitoring program that will prepare the project for certification and audit under a leading international standard for environmental markets.
The project aims to develop a Blue Carbon project in the highly sensitive Rajang Delta of Sarawak, Malaysia, ranked as one of the most biologically diverse places on earth. Decades of unsustainable logging and palm oil development now have Sarawak’s largest remaining area of mangroves under significant threat. The collaboration between Ecosecurities, South East Carbon, the Sarawak Department of Forestry and local communities will look to restore and permanently conserve this unique ecosystem through a sustainable financing model.
Support from BCAF will help to define the technical, social, and financial viability of the Rajang Delta Blue Carbon project, thereby directing private sector investment toward strengthening community well-being, protecting and restoring critically endangered habitat and building ecosystem resilience. Funding will be directed to establishing a science-based and robust emission profile for the project, a community led assessment of rights, resources and preferred future management scenarios, and a detailed roadmap for private sector investment into the project.
Rare supports behavior-centered solutions to protect, restore, and sustainably manage coastal areas for biodiversity and climate action through innovative finance approaches. With this project, we focus on the early-stage blue carbon feasibility assessments and community empowerment and engagement in the Tañon Strait Protected Seascape in the Philippines.
BCAF is supporting activities that advance key elements necessary for early-stage project design such as a coastal blue carbon market project feasibility assessment paired with a local stakeholder assessment. BCAF also supports the project establishing a business plan to outline how the blue carbon market project revenue could benefit coastal ecosystem protection and community livelihoods.
The rePLANET Sulawesi mangrove project is restoring up to 2000 hectares of existing abandoned or underutilized shrimp farms in South-East Sulawesi, on village-controlled land. The 2000 hectares of mangrove restoration will be funded through carbon and biodiversity credit sales and have a guaranteed 60% of the income going to local stakeholders (owners, users and managers of the site).
There are new forest carbon laws in Indonesia that would apparently allow this type of mangrove restoration to proceed but no projects have yet navigated this new law. The BCAF grant will help bring this first mangrove project to market and provide information so private sector investment in mangrove restoration in Indonesia can be scaled up.
What is the BCAF?
The Blue Carbon Accelerator Fund supports the development of blue carbon restoration and conservation projects in developing countries and helps pave the way for private sector finance. BCAF was established by Australia and IUCN as a dedicated funding scheme with a vision to help increase coastal blue carbon ecosystems conservation and restoration for the benefits to climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity and livelihoods of coastal communities.
BCAF is excited to start work with its first four projects, all of which were selected during a rigorous Call for Proposals process with the ultimate decision on which projects to fund being made by a Grants Approval Committee.
Further Calls for Proposals will be announced in the near future.